Riparian Revival

North Coast Local Land Services is collaborating on a riparian vegetation improvement project to revive important riparian areas in the Northern Rivers.

The project brings together landholders, state and local government agencies, Landcare groups and ecological restoration professionals to reinstate ecological balance in riparian areas, help reduce pollutants entering waterways and increase bank stability during flooding events.

Genevieve Maley, Land Services Officer with North Coast Local Land Services, said “We have worked with macadamia growers and graziers to rehabilitate the riparian areas on their properties since 2019.

“Benefits of these collaborative efforts include increasing biodiversity; creating healthy wildlife corridors and rehabilitating the Big Scrub Rainforest.” Genevieve said.

This year, the project is set to enhance riverbank vegetation along more than 5.5 km of creek line along the Wilsons River, Skinners Creek and Maguires Creek.

Genevieve continued, “There will be several projects carried out in the Riparian Vegetation Improvement program – one of which is being undertaken at Frida’s Field, a regenerative farming property in the Northern Rivers area.

“A recent planting day at Frida’s Field provided the community with a valuable opportunity to actively engage in the restoration of our natural assets and cultivate a strong sense of environmental stewardship.”

The community planting at Frida’s Field with Richmond Landcare and Big Scrub Regeneration marked the beginning of a dedicated 1.3 km rehabilitation effort.

Works will include cattle exclusion fencing along the Wilsons River; addressing the camphor infestation within the riparian zone and committing to the revegetation of a 2.1ha area with 5,100 native plants.

Jeanie Wylie, owner of Frida’s Field said of the Spring Gathering planting event, “As a small family-operated farm, we understand how closely our livelihood and lifestyle relate to the state of the natural environment.

“Planting trees on-farm and protecting our waterways by fencing them off from our cattle is a key way that we can grow food in a regenerative way.”

Emily Headlam, Local Landcare Coordinator for Richmond Landcare said, “This hands-on involvement empowered residents to directly contribute to the preservation and enrichment of our local environment by planting 800 trees. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement, especially since planting a tree was a new experience for many of the community who got involved.”

“Community initiatives like this hold significant importance; the seemingly simple act of planting a tree can have a profound impact.

This impact is amplified when young individuals actively engage, fostering the growth of future environmental stewards.”

This project was funded by the NSW Government under the Marine Estate Management Strategy. The ten-year Strategy was developed by the NSW Marine Estate Management Authority to coordinate the management of the marine estate.

If you would like to know about projects that are helping protect our marine estate, visit the Local Land Services website.

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